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Alfred Lyttelton

On the south wall in St Margaret's church Westminster is a memorial to politician, lawyer and sportsman Alfred Lyttelton. The sculpture is signed by W. Goscombe John and includes an oval relief portrait of Alfred within foliage, including oak leaves and acorns, with four allegorical seated figures at either end - Faith (wearing a nun's habit), Generosity (with cornucopia), Fortitude and Justice (with scroll and sword). The inscription reads:

Erected by members of both Houses of Parliament to the memory of the Right Honourable Alfred Lyttelton, K.C.M.P. Secretary of State for the Colonies 1903-1905. At Eton, at Trinity College Cambridge, at the Bar, in the House of Commons a man greatly beloved. In youth by his rare athletic grace and skill his name had a charm for thousands of his countrymen. His manhood enriched by vigour of mind, by largeness of heart and by noble manners presented, as was finely said on a memorable occasion, An ideal to which every English father would wish his son to aspire. Born 7 Feb 1857 Died 5 July 1913

He was a son of George Lyttelton, 4th Baron Lyttelton and his wife Mary (Glynne) who was Gladstone's sister in law. Among his brothers were Arthur, Edward and Neville. At Eton he was an all round sportsman and played high class cricket and amateur tennis at Cambridge. In 1885 he married Octavia Laura Tennant but their son died young. His second marriage was to Edith Balfour and they had two sons (Oliver went on to serve in Churchill's war cabinet) and a daughter. He is buried in Hagley churchyard.

Further reading

"Alfred Lyttelton, an account of his life" by E. Lyttelton, 1917

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004 (also for other members of his family)


7th February 1857


5th July 1913


Politician; diplomat; lawyer


St Margaret's Church

Memorial Type


Alfred Lyttelton
Alfred Lyttelton memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2021 Dean and Chapter of Westminster

I feel very privileged to work here. I take so much pride in working for a beautiful place like the Abbey, it’s unique.

Alex - Abbey Marshal

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